As Penn State continues to grow, the pressure is on for Transportation Services to accommodate transportation and parking for students, staff, and visitors. The University is working to sustainably manage its growing transportation demands by switching to alternative fuels, reducing oil consumption, increasing the fuel efficiency of fleet vehicles, and encouraging the use of public transportation.
Supporting Walkers & Bikers!
Penn State's University Park campus strives to be both pedestrian and bicyclist friendly! The University recently collaborated with the Borough of State College to develop a Bicycle Master Plan that will promote bicycle commuting and expand on-campus mobility for students and staff. Be sure to register your bike and use our bicycle route map to plan your next commute!
Eco-Friendly Fleet Vehicles
Many of University Park's passenger and utility fleet vehicles operate on bio-diesel fuel, which helps reduce Penn State's overall greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, biodiesel from soy oil results in an average emissions reduction of 57% when compared to traditional petroleum diesel. The Office of Physical Plant alone operates over 130 bio-diesel vehicles, along with a host of electric vans, trucks, and segways. Efforts are underway to further reduce the environmental impact of Penn State vehicles through improvements in both fuel efficiency and fleet composition.
Partnership with CATA & Fullington Trailways
- CATA operates free on-campus shuttle buses for students and employees. The Blue Loop, White Loop, Red Loop, and Green Loop routes are fare-free seven days a week. Download the CATA iPhone App to track live arrival and departure times.
- CATA's Ride for Five program allows full-time employees to purchase discounted monthly bus passes for $5/month (regular rate is $49/month). Over 700 employees currently take advantage of this service, which has allowed Penn State to avoid the $14 million expense of constructing additional parking decks.
- CATA's Rideshare program encourages carpooling among employees who live near one another. For groups of 7 to 12 people living in the same area, CATA offers a Vanpool Program.
- Most buses servicing Centre County use compressed natural gas, which produces fewer emissions than gasoline.
- Using subsidies from Penn State Transportation Services, Fullington Trailways now offers low-cost express bus service to New York City, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. Visit Fullington's website to view itineraries and purchase tickets.
The Larson Institute
Penn State's Larson Institute is the locus for transportation-related research conducted by Penn State faculty from more than 14 colleges and research centers, with areas of specialization ranging from civil, computer, electrical, architectural, industrial and mechanical engineering to agriculture, information sciences and technology, supply chain management, economics, geography, psychology and statistics. The institute provides a unique focal point of collaboration for expert faculty and enterprising students from across the University together with public and private stakeholders to address critical transportation-related needs of the individual user and the world at large.
Results of the 2011 Transportation Survey
In late 2011, Transportation Services surveyed over 10,000 individuals at Penn State's University Park campus to determine their commuting habits and gauge their attitudes toward the future of the University's transportation infrastructure. The results of the survey are helping guide the University in the development of its short- and long-term planning goals related to transportation.
At the time of the survey:
- 33% of respondents said that 2 or more people living at their place of residence held University parking permits.
- 31% of respondents claimed that they regularly used the CATA bus system to get around campus.
- 16% of respondents said that they rode their bicycles to work almost every day.
- Less than 5% of respondents indicated that they were familiar with CATA's Rideshare program.
Based on feedback like this, Transportation Services is working to develop an environmentally responsible intermodal transportation plan that is customer-focused, financially sustainable, and that supports a balanced mix of travel choices to support the diverse needs of our University community.
As illustrated by the chart to the right, many Penn Staters have already indicated that they are willing to consider alternative transportation options. The University is working hard to engage with these individuals in an effort to spread the word about alternative transportation!
To learn more about Penn State's efforts to find sustainable transportation solutions, visit the Transportation Services website!
For the full survey results, you can also download the keynote presentation given by Penn State's Director of Transportation Teresa Davis at the 2012 Environmental Forum.